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Limited company offered shares in a client firm

Limited company offered shares in client firm

My client is the sole director of her own limited company. She has many different customers, and works for them on a freelance basis under a contract between the customer and her limited company. All work is outside of IR35.

She has requested an increase to her contract rate from one of her customers, who has offered a small increase, and also equity in their business instead. The equity would be given to the limited company. 

My question is - would there be an IR35 issue if my client received the equity personally rather than through the limited company? The limited company owning the equity is not particularly tax efficient, as my client would not get the benefit of her annual dividend allowance, lower tax rates on dividend income, and capital gains tax exemption if she were to sell the equity. However she would not want to risk the work being caught by IR35, and I wonder whether this would be an implication if she were to hold shares personally, rather than using her limited company as the vehicle.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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